Friday, August 03, 2007

Face-Lift 392

Guess the Plot

Demon Days

1. The Teamsters are threatening to go on strike unless they get twelve paid sick days and five Demon Days per year. When Seth Longhaul resurrects the ghost of Jimmy Hoffa to arbitrate, he unleashes an army of the living dead and they're siding with management. Can the rank and file take back their union and save their jobs?

2. All the saints have one, so why do the demons get the short end of the liturgical calendar? It will be raining fire and brimstone as the hell-dwelling minions escalate their protest, demanding equal time and Demon Days of Obligation. Can St. Patrick convince them that demon alcohol is a better tribute than some random day of the year?

3. Young department store worker Hillary Shakes is excited about her promotion to Women's shoe department manager, until she finds out that the store is having a big sale to attract business from the untapped demon market niche - but the shoes in stock won't fit their hairy feet!

4. When Asha Santos takes a job at Hell's Gate Enterprises, she discovers that the employees are all demons, and they all have PMS. What's worse, they've stuck her on the graveyard shift--literally. Can she survive long enough to land a spot on the day shift? Also, a weredingo.

5. As an Augustinian nun, Angel's nights are full of prayer and loneliness in her cloistered room. But when she receives the opportunity to work in the secular community, Baptists, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses all bow to her power of prayer!

6. Mrs. Freida Tock, who just moved into Fair Oaks, decides to volunteer for the Parent-Teacher Association refreshments committee. Perhaps she wouldn't have if she'd known the other ladies in her neighborhood referred to PTA meetings as Demon Days....

Original Version

When a demon daughter joins the family business, she learns there's more to life than Hell. [Oddly, when most people join their family business they learn that life is nothing but hell.]

Asha Santos's absent demon father is in Melbourne to oversee operations of the new Hell's Gate Enterprises Complex. Asha takes a job there, if only because of the money.

But the Princess of Darkness didn't take into account the other demons, who seem to permanently have PMS. [And you should see the female demons.] [Asha is the Princess of Darkness?] The resident weredingo is in a suspiciously kinky relationship that intrigues voyeuristic Asha as much as it disturbs her. [A week ago I'd never heard of weredingos; now I can't get away from them.] Then there's the matter of policing the back-alley blood cartel who've taken their business downtown.

At first Asha assumes these are all separate things, part of the daily running of a supernatural empire. But working the graveyard shift – literally – links them in a way that points straight to Hell. [The company is Hell's Gate and the employees are demons and Asha's a demon daughter/Princess of Darkness. She shouldn't be bothered by her setting pointing to Hell. This makes it sound like she's shocked to discover she's working over the hellmouth.]


This is the fifth and final query from the author of the recent zombie and weredingo books. Had I not been desperate for queries at the time, he/she would have sent one at a time, and no doubt shown marked improvement. As it is, we again have a few highlights without connecting the ideas into a cohesive plot.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't touch this plot with a ten foot Pole, a twelve foot Turk, or a fourteen foot Russian.

Chris Eldin said...

Okay then. I'll hold off on my query for "Turkish Delights," so not to offend anon.

Okay, it's a bad query. I still think the story sounds funny.

Dave Fragments said...

I think that the plot is
"When Satan's daughter is put in charge of Hell while Satan is opening a new branch, she discovers a plot to create chaos in hell "

Somehow I think that doesn't cut it. It's a little like saying "I got wet in the shower" ...
Philosophically, what and where do rebellious demons demons go when they rebel? Do they join the Scientologists (cheap shot) or go door to door selling bibles preaching Jesus Love?
{how many did I offend there? Don't tell me. But I'll bet is smaller than the number offended by the PMS crack!}

Just like all corporate management, Satan has demon troubles in hell when he puts his Daughter in charge of the place while oepning a hellmouth. Can she cut the mustard and cure the quality control problems? Or will she sink deep into the hell of red tape and land in Congress?

There, I've launched my straw man on his quality vector in hopes he'll find escape the fires of hell.

Anonymous said...

Religious topics really bring out the best in our GTP authors!

If Asha is the Princess of Darkness, I think you need to explain her relationship to the Prince of Darkness. I'm assuming because you haven't explicitly said she's Satan's get that she's more like his cousin or some such, but the title is confusing. Besides, since Satan isn't really a demon, and her dad is, then knowing her place in Hell would probably help.

While I find the irony of Asha's last name funny, is it too overt? Can't imagine a demon with such a saintly name.

...if only because of the money. Not sure what is being implied here. May help to mention what position she takes: mailroom clerk? VP reporting to daddy?

Going for humor is great; just be careful. The PMS ref may be a quick turnoff for some people.

What does "suspiciously kinky" mean? I'm really more bothered by the word "suspiciously" here than "kinky." Although I'm not sure what would be considered a non-kinky relationship for a weredingo, but that may be because I don't get out much.

Does the blood cartel (vampires?)moving downtown put them into proximity with Hell's Gate? And why is that bad? Are they just not the right kind of non-people? Or do they interfere with the biz of Hell's Gate (which would be?)?

OK, so what's the plot? Moody workers, an office romance and a bunch of thugs hanging out in the back alley behind HQ sounds like a typical business operation. The setup premise is cute and unique, for which you get lots of brownie points, but you gotta come through on the story, too. Setting + characters + plot = story.

If you have cohesive plots and they're just not reflected in the queries, all 5 of your books could be fun, fast reads. Your premises are all fun and interesting, so that's the first major hurdle jumped. You have voice, though it needs just a touch of refinement in the queries, so that helps them stand out. Just add more plot then connect the plot dots in these queries and I think you'll have something worth pitching!

Sylvia said...

I had a hard time seeing the conflict: she's a demon, she finds that the family business involves other demons AND they are foul-tempered on top of everything else. And weredingos.

Having seen your other queries, I'm sure it's not this simplistic but of the set, this is my most unfavourite.

It is a bit mean though, as EE said, you'd have no doubt revised the lot after the first set of comments given the time. :)